January 2015 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Ledgestone Farms for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

BeenVarified Opt-Out

Searching through public records for information used to be very difficult. While governments were required to maintain some public records and many private organizations maintained public records as well, they did not make it easy to search that information. Many times access to this information was limited to those with enough money to pay to access big databases. In fact, even after the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, public agencies are required to allow access to public information, but can still limit how, where, and when to provide that access! What this has meant in the past is that background checks could require people to visit multiple Web sites and even make in-person visits to courthouses and other government buildings to compile information. BeenVerified simplifies accessing public records. They aggregate public record information from multiple sources, providing a one-stop background check service.

Since BeenVarified has made it so easy to accrue personal information on anyone, you may want to check what's on the Internet for yourself and then attempt to get that information deleted - in other words opt-out of their database. With identity theft on the rise you don't need to make it easy for the bad guys. Follow this link for Opt-out information and instructions.

How Good Is Your Password?

The latest recommendations from cyber experts suggest the following guidelines for creating strong passwords.

A strong password should contain:

  • AT THE VERY LEAST 8 characters

  • Combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation marks and symbols

  • No inclusion of words found in the dictionary or the names of your friends and family

  • No easy to discover dates like birthdays or anniversaries

You should have a unique password for all of your important accounts and it is suggested that you change your passwords every 90 days and not reuse them for different sites.

Can’t think of a good password? There are tools such strongpasswordgenerator.com that will create a good password for you. You can even decide the length of your password and what type of characters to use. Some others strong password generators are random.org and freepasswordgenerator.com.

The problem with a strong password is how are you supposed to remember these nonsensical passwords? Most security experts recommend the use of a password manager such as Dashlane.com, LastPass.com (our personal favorite) or 1Password.com, which have apps that can go with you from your computer, phone and tablet.

DO NOT store your passwords in a public cloud, in a Google doc, in e-mails that can be hacked, on your phone’s notepad app.

Whatever method you decide upon to have truly secure passwords, remain ever vigilant as you cruise along the Internet. There are hackers around every bend and it’s up to you to keep an eye on your online accounts.

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

Electronic Bill Payments

With the price of stamps going up yet again, we've decided to make online payment available and offer invoices sent by e-mail rather than snail-mail. If you would prefer to receive you invoice attached to an e-mail, please let us know and we'll change the way you receive your bill.

If you'd prefer to pay your bill online, just visit our homepage and click the clearly shown "Pay You Bill" button. After clicking that button, you'll be offer two options for payment, "Pay with my PayPal account" or "Don't have a PayPal account?". The slightly misleading "Don't have a PayPal account?" link is the one that allows you to pay using a major credit card. So don't get scared off and think the only way to pay is by having a PayPal account.